Arsenal need to take charge of the midfield battles now! By Sylvester Kwentua
Arsenal’s 2017 campaign, trophy wise, is pretty much coming to an end as the Gunners repeated their annual drill of progressing a decent way in all major tournaments before crashing out in a drastic manner. However, things have turned quite sour this season with fans and critics getting way more ammunition than usual to criticize the team, the manager as well as the board, so much so that this might finally be Arsene Wenger’s last season with Arsenal.
With 12 more games to go before the season ends, Arsenal have two tasks on their hands now. Firstly, they would try and get back to the top four, a zone which has been their home for quite some time now, and secondly, Wenger is expected to go all out for the FA cup.
One department of football that has been of great concern to fans and football pundits alike has been Arsenal’s midfield. Arsenal had started the season with arguably the best core of midfielders in the premier league and quite shockingly, it has turned out to be a major chink in their armour now. Though injuries to the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla have played a huge role in this phenomenon, Wenger’s team selections have further exacerbated it.
Wenger’s tendency to keep on playing a player, even when he has become a dead rubber, is his biggest fault and Francis Coquelin has been a prime example of it. Despite breaking into the team with tremendous vigour and aggression a few years back, he has reduced himself to a liability now and the way he bounced off Eden Hazard last month pretty much summed up his current state. Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain has been brilliant from the middle and should find a permanent place there alongside Xhaka as per tactics.
Wenger needs to make the desired change for the sake of the team or else he will keep on losing games to teams he should ordinarily win. He needs to drop Coquelin for a while and use Chamberlain more often. Even Ozil, should not be guaranteed a regular starting berth until he proves he can improve on his game. Against Bayern, out midfield didn’t give our defenders the much needed cover and that was why we conceded goals like it was running out of stock. We need to up our game before our next match and one sure way of improving, is to work on our midfielders.
Who do you think should play in our midfield from now on?